The further you get away from your router, the weaker your Wi-Fi signal gets. This means you may not be able to stream your favorite shows or even browse the Internet very well in certain spots in your home. One of the easiest ways to boost your Wi-Fi speed and signal is a Wi-Fi extender like the Rock Space AC2100 Wi-Fi Range Extender. I had the opportunity to test out this extender to see just how well it works.
Overview of Features
The Rock Space Wi-Fi Range Extender is a dual-band extender, working on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. It provides up to 300 Mbps for 2.4 GHz networks and up to 1734 Mbps on 5 GHz networks. With coverage up to 1,292 sq. ft., there’s ample coverage to eliminate annoying dead spots.
Some of the other main features include:
- 4 PCB dual band antennas, fully adjustable
- Wired gigabit port with support up to 2100 Mbps
- Supports IPv6 protocol
- 4T4R MU-MIMO technology (supports more simultaneous device connections at once without lag)
- Smart signal switching for optimal performance
- Easy setup
It’s designed to work with 99 percent of routers, though it’s not guaranteed to work with every single router.
Installing the Extender
If the thought of trying to install network equipment terrifies you, you have nothing to worry about with the Rock Space AC2100 Wi-Fi Range Extender. If you have a web browser and an available outlet, you can connect the extender.
The best part is you don’t have to install any apps or software. That makes it even easier to set up.
Start by connecting a computer, smartphone, or tablet to the network you want to extend. You’ll need to do all of this from the same room your router is in.
Next, plug the Wi-Fi extender into an available outlet. Once again, do this in the same room your router is in. This is only for the setup process, and you can move it closer to your dead spots when finished.
Check your list of available networks on the device you’re using to set up the extender. Select the “rockspace_EXT” network. You won’t have an Internet connection. Open a web browser and enter http://re.rockspace.local or 192.168.0.254 in the address bar.
This takes you to the setup page. Create a password for the Rock Space management interface. Then, choose the network you want to extend. If you have a dual-band router, you only need to select one of your networks. Enter your network’s password to connect your router and extender.
Once successful, it’s time to move the extender. Simply unplug it and move it to where you need it.
Alternatively, you can connect directly to your router with an Ethernet cable or use the WPS button (if your router also has a WPS button) to complete the setup.
The method I used only took a few minutes, but the other two methods are easy too.
Boosting Wi-Fi Performance
The manual recommends placing the Rock Space AC2100 Wi-Fi Range Extender midway between your router and the dead spot you want to fix. It’s important not to place the extender too far from your router or it won’t work as well. Also, if you place it too close to your router, it may not reach your dead spot.
Test out different distances to see what works best. For me, I found the best result slightly closer to my dead spot than the router. Also, I’d like to point out that the extender worked with two complete rooms between it and the router. It even helped extend my signal outside my home.
It should only take a few seconds for the extender to turn back on once you plug it in. Then, connect to your network. If you renamed the extended network during the setup process, connect to that instead when you’re closer to your dead spot.
During my tests, my signal strength and speed did noticeably improve. For example, I started out with 72 Mbps on my 2.4 GHz band. After installing the extender, I jumped to 144 Mbps on the same band.
I also tried doing different things. When I started streaming, the signal automatically changed to the 5 GHz band. The speed doubled to 780 Mbps, and the strength went from fair to good. I didn’t have to deal with the usual buffering, and web pages loaded with zero problems.
The way you place the antennas does matter. For single story homes, both sets of antennas should be tilted upwards. In multi-story homes, tilt the upper antennas upward and the lower set downward (if the extender’s on the upper floor).
If you need a quick and simple solution to Wi-Fi dead spots, the Rock Space AC2100 Wi-Fi Range Extender is definitely worth buying. At $89.99, it’s a competitive price and gives you much better access to your network throughout your home. After all, shouldn’t you get to use your network the same way no matter where you’re at in your house?
The coverage is ample for the average home, though you can use multiple extenders for larger homes, and the smart signal switching helps ensure you’re always on the best frequency for your needs. Plus, you don’t have as much lag when connecting multiple devices. Obviously, you’re still limited based on your network’s overall bandwidth, though.